I sat down with numerous primary aged kids and put pencil to paper and drew whatever they wanted me to sketch.
We owned and operated a primary aged childcare business doing before and after school care; and conducted school holiday childcare programmes in-between term time. Allowing kidz to be kidz & parents to do adult stuff.
I had no formal education in art, illustration or design. In fact, I was a late starter to picking up a pencil and ink. It was just draw what the kids wanted. To the best of my in-ability!
They didn’t care if it was wonky or imperfect. To them, when they added the colour – whether felt pens, pencils or paint, it was all that they had imagined. The feeling I got was indescribable.
The lessons I learnt from all those kids from all those drawings helped me to rejuvenate seeing the beauty in something that doesn’t need to be perfect. Perhaps more significantly, it ignited a want to draw more. After the kids went home as well.
When we changed vocations, so too did the mentorship I got from the kids.
Old habits started to creep back in and with it, the conditioned mind before the childcare. So too did the tendency to evaluate and criticize imperfection; I was torn between accepting a flawed line or blemished colour. The days of sitting down to draw became less.
Then by chance, I happened upon ‘The Creative Licence’ by Danny Gregory.
Today, I work as a freelance illustrator for books, magazines and commercial projects. And do privately commissioned illustrations.
During the down time, I am a registered marriage and independent funeral celebrant; volunteer for the Foundation for the Blind taking visually impaired members for rides on the back of a tandem; mountain bike and trek; and down tools completely to adventure travel on the planet – where the places visited, the cultures experienced, the cuisine tasted, the citizens met, the connections made and, the conversations had … have all been journaled by illustration.
When we are not adventuring, I reside in Christchurch, New Zealand with my wife Claire and two grown up adult children. Where we still play board games … like kidz used to do.